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Thread: Question: Does AT&T use Special 5G sim cards?

  1. #1
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    Question: Does AT&T use Special 5G sim cards?

    I purchased the Iphone 12 Pro Max for a gift.

    The recipient is not in a 5g area.

    I know they should be able to transfer their old sim from their Iphone 6 to their new Iphone 12 Pro Max and I am guessing they will just receive regular 4G speeds.

    Just to be on the safe side, I also purchased a new ATT nano sim for PREPAID/POSTPAID on Ebay for $3.00

    1) Are ATT Nano sims for 5G any different than ATT Nano sims for 4G?

    2) Does AT&T make customers pay extra or change their plan to get 5G speeds?

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    Yes. You will need a new sim to get 5G. If you’re ok just getting LTE then you can either activate the eSIM or use the old one.

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    I got an iPhone 12 free through promotion, gave it to my wife, and took her iPhone 6S SIM card out and popped it into the iPhone 12 and she gets 5G, 5GE and LTE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xchpstang View Post
    Yes. You will need a new sim to get 5G. If you’re ok just getting LTE then you can either activate the eSIM or use the old one.
    I would think if one activates the esim and they have a plan that includes 5G they would get it. I can’t imagine that apple would build in an esim that’s not capable of 5G. But I suppose I could be wrong.


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    Does the plan and SIM card both need to support 5G? Or can I simply use my existing plan and just get a new SIM card/reactivate the eSIM? I'm thinking about getting the iPhone 12 and would like to keep my existing unlimited plan.

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    All the SIM does is authorize the phone to access the network. It shouldn’t have any control on what frequencies and data connection a phone can and cannot use. That’s done between the phone and the carriers servers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Does the plan and SIM card both need to support 5G? Or can I simply use my existing plan and just get a new SIM card/reactivate the eSIM? I'm thinking about getting the iPhone 12 and would like to keep my existing unlimited plan.
    You need to be on a modern unlimited plan unfortunately.

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    My SIM is 3 years old or so and my Note 20 is utilizing 5G on Unlimited Elite. I'm wondering though if I can access 5G+/mmWave if I should ever find it here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by astrand1 View Post
    I would think if one activates the esim and they have a plan that includes 5G they would get it. I can’t imagine that apple would build in an esim that’s not capable of 5G. But I suppose I could be wrong.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    I also had deep skepticism that the AT&T rep was actually correct on this one but I tried every setting and tweak possible and could not get the 12 Pro esim to work with 5G. I also tried a SIM card from my non 5G AT&T work iPhone and it also did not connect to 5G on my 12 Pro. As soon as AT&T gave me a new SIM card then it worked. It’s starting to sound like YMMV though.

  10. #10
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    Question: Does AT&T use Special 5G sim cards?

    The 5g SIM cards are white with the little tiny AT&T logo in the corner
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    Recently changed my Unlimited Plus (4g only) to Unlimited Elite (4g & 5g) and kept my old sim card. 5g works fine when available.

  12. #12
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    I second the fact you need a "compatible" plan for 5G.

    Just got a few weeks ago, the 12 pro max and have the older Unlimited plan (no video streaming-rate caps, free hbo) and only see LTE (Settings > Cellular options show 4G or LTE / omit any 5G mention). I confirmed this with tech support as well. I just activated the Sim card it was shipped with.

    But 5g? Whatever, LTE works great and my plan rate + features do everything I want.

  13. #13
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    I recently switched back to AT&T and had the regular blue and white SIM sent to me. Using an iPhone 12 Pro on Unlimited Elite plan. I did not have any option to toggle on 5G. Went to a corporate store and they gave me the 5G SIM (SKU 6818B) and now all 5G options appear and work perfectly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlp2979 View Post
    I recently switched back to AT&T and had the regular blue and white SIM sent to me. Using an iPhone 12 Pro on Unlimited Elite plan. I did not have any option to toggle on 5G. Went to a corporate store and they gave me the 5G SIM (SKU 6818B) and now all 5G options appear and work perfectly.
    Interesting. My iPhone 12 pro max shipped directly from AT&T came preinstalled with a blue / white SIM, SKU 6817B.

    But support tells me due to my older unlimited plan, I'm not eligible for 5g. Maybe thats why they sent me a SIM that won't work with 5G (assuming this theory is even correct)?

    Not sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknoi View Post
    Interesting. My iPhone 12 pro max shipped directly from AT&T came preinstalled with a blue / white SIM, SKU 6817B.

    But support tells me due to my older unlimited plan, I'm not eligible for 5g. Maybe thats why they sent me a SIM that won't work with 5G (assuming this theory is even correct)?

    Not sure.
    That SIM you received (6817B) is also a newer 5G SIM. The SIM that was sent to me from AT&T was not that one and was the plain "old" blue and white one.

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